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Ericsson in talks with Romania to start global support center

Ericsson AB, the world's biggest maker of wireless networks, said it may set up a global support center in Romania to take advantage of lower taxes, Romania's government said.

Ericsson officials met with Romanian Prime Minister Calin Tariceanu today to discuss the project, Tariceanu's office said in an e-mailed statement today. A workforce educated in technology and the English language, and willing to accept lower wages, is drawing some companies to shift some operations to Romania, a Balkan nation which joined the European Union January 1. Romania introduced a flat tax of 16% on corporate and personal income in 2005, the lowest in eastern Europe, and average monthly net wages as of December were 1,100 lei ($423). Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates opened a $16 million center in Romania last week to offer technical support to customers throughout Europe. Oracle Corp., the world's third-largest software maker, in 2004 chose Romania for a similar client-support center. (Bloomberg)